The Silicon Review
Digital Air Strike is the leading social media, intelligent lead response technology and consumer engagement company that maintains its status as an industry leader by prioritizing innovation. Its innovative products help customers streamline their social media programs, manage their online reputation, strategically accelerate lead response and improve the customer experience. Through its products, solutions, team, and technology, Digital Air Strike influences close to 50 percent of all vehicle sales nationwide. The company is honored to be named one of the 50 Best Workplaces of the Year for 2019 by Silicon Review.
Q. What circumstances led to the establishment of Digital Air Strike, and what were the grounds on which you have expanded your company and its offerings over the years?
I co-founded Digital Air Strike in 2010 while the economy was trying to find its footing after the Great Recession. Even though the economic outlook seemed bleak at the time, the Recession illuminated the need to rethink how marketers approach their audiences.
Because resources were scarcer than ever, I knew I had to find a way to maximize marketing results while cutting cost. Rather than spending on traditional advertising, I turned my attention to an industry that was booming despite the economic chaos: social media. The idea to shift marketing efforts to social media was revolutionary for its time and adopting it early on as a marketing tool is the basis of our success at Digital Air Strike.
Over the years, we’ve grown the company and its offerings through our technology suite, and we never stop looking for new ways to use technology to solve customer problems. We also expanded to include several new industries including education, healthcare, and retail. Digital Air Strike has grown both organically and by completing three acquisitions, and we’re incredibly proud to be the industry leader in social media, intelligent lead response technology, and consumer engagement solutions.
Q. What is your company’s mission statement? And to what extent are you successful in achieving the same?
Digital Air Strike’s mission is to create a five-star online experience for consumers which converts them into engaged consumers. To fulfill this mission, employees are encouraged to think like owners—which they are, as all full-time employees are given stock in the company. When employees see themselves through this lens, they’re able to make a stronger connection between themselves and their role within the company. They not only take greater pride in their work, but they also demonstrate exceptional levels of accountability. To support employees in this way, benefits, philosophies, and programs are aligned to promote health, happiness and camaraderie. Digital Air Strike’s environment feels less corporate and more family-oriented.
Q. In order to stay motivated and inspired in the workplace, employees should feel there are opportunities to continue to grow in their careers, not just from a promotion standpoint, but in terms of professional development. Do professional development opportunities exist in your company, and how well do your employees know their role in contributing to the team’s and company’s success?
Yes, it’s a top priority at Digital Air Strike to offer professional development opportunities. We even map out each employee’s career path, so they see a concrete plan that tells them how to move up in the company. Each team has a set of defined roles, and every level has expectations, results, defined skill sets and tenure requirements with associated compensation ranges. We do this so employees can visually see their progress and feel excited about their career growth.
We’ve also invested in leadership training with professional business coaches as well as opportunities to see leaders, thinkers, and innovators in a variety of fields share their leadership experiences.
Q. Two-way communication is the key. Employees need to feel they have an outlet for sharing their observations and ideas, is this true with your company?
Absolutely, I highly encourage our employees to participate in all internal business discussions. We want our employees to feel as involved as possible, especially when it comes to decisions that affect them directly. We sought input from each company team on our existing mission statement and encouraged our employees to help evolve it. Digital Air Strike also orients all its employee awards, interview scripts, job descriptions, and onboarding programs to focus directly on the values our employees felt were most important.
I also hold monthly lunches with new employees and those celebrating work anniversaries to get feedback. Many of these ideas shape the benefits that all employees get including alternative work schedules and student loan reimbursement.
Other benefits include anniversary days off, a commuter assistance program, culture clubs, chair massages, and pet insurance. Our employees get those benefits in addition to health, dental and vision insurance, a 401k plan, summer half days off and free lunch Fridays. We understand how important it is to take care of the people who make innovation happen.
Q. What makes the best company to work for is a culture of listening to what employees want to do, and a commitment to help them do it. Do you agree with this statement?
Continuously keeping up with how our employees are feeling is extremely important. One of the ways we do this is by gauging commitment, inspiration, growth, and excitement through an employee survey. By reviewing the results and implementing solutions to improve areas that were ranked lower, we were able to increase engagement by 25 percent, satisfaction by 10 percent and retention by 36 percent.
Q. Do you have any new products ready to be rolled out into the market?
Yes, we recently acquired two companies, Target Media Partners Interactive (TMPi), an ad-tech lead generation company, and Libra Systems, a software company that simplifies leasing and financing operations for automotive dealers. This expansion is the largest in Digital Air Strike’s history, and it represents a giant leap forward in our consumer engagement and digital retailing capabilities.
We also recently acquired the privately-held A.I. chat technology business of Eldercare Technology, Incorporated (d.b.a. Path Chat). This acquisition allowed us to add Path Chat’s artificial intelligence messaging solution, Response Path, into our digital and social response platform. Response Path is an AI-powered intelligent messaging tool that lets businesses connect with customers 24/7. It integrates with Facebook Messenger, text message and company websites to allow customers to talk with the business on the platform most convenient for them.
Q. Where do you see you and your company a couple of years from now?
We see ourselves continuing to innovate and expand upon our technology suite. Digital Air Strike is constantly developing new ideas to maintain our status as the leading social media, intelligent lead response technology, and consumer engagement solutions provider, and we’ll continue to achieve this by identifying industry pain points and coming up with a solution. When we see something that can be improved, we waste no time developing the perfect innovation to fill the needs of the market.
Q. About Alexi Venneri, the driving force behind the success of Digital Air Strike
Alexi Venneri is the Co-founder and CEO of Digital Air Strike. She has more than 20 years of experience in marketing and is a pioneer in digital response, social marketing, and online reputation management. Alexi earned a B.A. in Marketing from the University of Calgary. She’s an accomplished speaker and accredited trainer at the University of Washington and The Pacific Institute. She supports numerous charitable organizations and works closely with ARME and the Beagle Freedom Project—two nonprofit organizations that rescue and rehabilitate animals.
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